Insecurity in relationships is not necessarily uncommon or frightening, in fact, it comes up more often than you think. Having a few bouts of insecurity here and there is completely normal. But being chronically insecure at the drop of a hat can be crippling to deal with. For insecure women, dating can seem a little bit daunting and spark several causes of worry.
Raymond, who got divorced from his wife after two years of marriage found her constant vigilance on him claustrophobic. “She would throw a fit if I spoke to a female colleague or my female neighbor, the female grocery store manager, or the lady flight attendant. Her insecurity was harrowing and was leading to the breakdown of our marriage.”
Insecurity can creep into your life in many ways. It can affect your social skills and your physical health too. From migraines to diabetes – these psychosomatic issues that insecurity can also bring may throw your life out of gear. Insecurity may also affect your friendships negatively. “It can reduce your life to 1/4th of its optimum contentment capacity,” says Kavita Panyam (M.A psychology), a counseling psychologist.
She also adds, “Not only can too much insecurity in a woman lead to social maladaptation, but also lead to trust issues. Insecure women might constantly feel someone is trying to exploit them.” To further understand what are signs of insecurity in a woman, read below.
What Causes Insecurity In A Woman?
In society, a lot more is expected from women than men, so it is no surprise that there are more insecure women than insecure men out there. Women are under constant pressure from their family, friends, co-workers, and bosses. These pressures can contribute to a negative self-image, self-doubt, and a tremendous amount of anxiety that can be difficult to cope with.
When constantly bombarded with the “ideal look” women should have, it tends to take a toll on anyone’s self-image. If you’re wondering “Why is she insecure?” it may well be because of external factors and pressures that are constantly pinned on her.
An insecure woman in a relationship may have a hard time dealing with things like jealousy and trust issues. Sometimes, if it becomes unduly exaggerated, it can lead to other psycho-social problems like eating disorders. There don’t really have to be any dangers of dating an insecure woman if you understand why the problems arise in the first place and if you know what to look out for. Before moving on to the signs of an insecure girlfriend, let’s take a look at why they occur in the first place.
Here are some underlying reasons that can trigger female insecurities:
Related Reading: 5 Things Men Do To Make Women Feel Insecure
1. Beauty standards
Every society collectively agrees upon what they consider beautiful and what they do not. These rigid margins can negatively hamper the self-image of many women, so do note whether your insecure wife is perhaps burdened by these. A woman can start to feel insecure about her looks if she feels she does not match up to these standards of beauty.
“The foremost thing that causes insecurity in a woman is her looks — her physique, complexion, voice and the way she carries herself and how these things are received by the external world. And if they are scrutinized negatively by her family, it’s bound to pile on a lot of emotional baggage” according to Kavita.
An insecure woman in a relationship will be extremely concerned with the way she looks and how the world perceives her Needing constant validation and compliments may almost be a necessity for an insecure wife.
2. Heartbreak from previous relationships
You may notice signs of insecurity in a woman in relationships if she has been hurt tremendously in the past. When a woman has undergone a heartbreak or has been cheated on, it can make her question her own stake in that relationship. She might blame herself and that could affect her self-esteem and future relationships too.
A woman will become insecure in a relationship when she starts to constantly worry about a man leaving her again, making her trace everything back to her own faults and weaknesses. She won’t feel worthy enough for the other person at all. She will always consider herself ‘out of his league’ and question her sense of self.
3. A misstep or failure
When a person makes a giant mistake in their lives, it can alter the way they perceive themselves. Getting fired from a job or making a terrifyingly bad decision can seem to make everything in one’s life go haywire. And even if it is not actually going haywire, it might just feel like it is.
Moreover, excessive judgment about the same can incite insecurity in a woman. Such accidents, whether literal or emotional, can produce doubt in oneself and in life and that is exactly what insecure women are going through. Women who undergo this may worry constantly about taking other bigger life decisions and be afraid of failure at every step of the way. This makes them not only question their own decisions constantly, but also incite a fear in them that they might never do anything right.
Related Reading: What does the judgemental society offer our liberated women?
4. Toxic parenting
Growing up under the radar of toxic parents can be difficult for any woman. Suffocating them with expectations and setting high standards for young people can sometimes negatively affect their morale. Moreover, constant comparisons with the achievements of other folks will make anyone feel smaller and insignificant.
An insecure girl is one who has perhaps gone through a lot of trauma with her parents, right from the very beginning. When a woman undergoes familial pressure right from the beginning, she is likely to face anxiety in her future. This becomes a cycle and only further deepens the trenches of insecurity and dissatisfaction with oneself.
So, if the question “Why is she insecure” has been on your mind, the reasons we listed above may well be the cause. Sometimes insecurity is a sudden onset, and in some cases, it has been with a person almost all their lives. Once you understand the reasons and the signs, you’ll be better equipped in handling the dangers of dating an insecure woman.
We list out the signs of an insecure girlfriend and what you can do about it.
12 Signs Of An Insecure Woman
Can guys sense when a girl is insecure? If they’re smart enough to pick up on the 12 signs mentioned below, they sure will. Dating an insecure woman can be a challenging thing for men. A man does not want to constantly walk on eggshells around his partner. This can truly change the way that relationship operates.
These are some important signs of insecurity that women often display when they are dissatisfied with themselves. Watching out for these signs of insecurity in a woman is the key to understanding your behavior and how it may affect those around you.
1. Becoming green with jealousy is second nature to insecure women
An insecure woman is also one who feels jealous really easily. A normal amount of jealousy is understandable. It reminds both partners of who is really important to them. However, when this emotion becomes unhinged, it can create an extremely toxic environment.
This may hinder yours and your partner’s interactions with friends and other people and can eventually evolve into a very controlled and nasty environment.
One of the most common dangers of dating an insecure woman is how she may irrationally react when you speak to another female. Jealousy issues in a relationship may cause long-term troubles that will require constant reassurance.
2. Being a control freak
Since an insecure woman operates from a place of lack of control over her life and her attributes, she will hanker to control other aspects of her life. An important aspect of her life will be her partner. She might constantly try to dictate terms and force her decisions onto her other half.
From micromanaging every detail of her partner’s everyday life to constantly nagging them about their individual decisions, she may create an intimidating atmosphere in the relationship.
Such a woman will weave herself completely into her partner’s life. ‘’For example, if an insecure woman’s husband comes home late one night, she might become very agitated and violent,’’ says Kavita.
3. An insecure girl will get easily offended or hurt
One of the most obvious signs of insecurity is being easily hurt by somebody’s words or actions. Women who are secure are thick-skinned and can take a little criticism. But an insecure woman does not possess the same kind of confidence. A little harmless banter or a playful joke may incite negative feelings in her or make her spiral into feelings of self-doubt or even self-hate.
Such jokes might make her feel small and insignificant.
4. In constant need of compliments
A woman insecure in a relationship will be in desperate need of validation from her partner. To be able to believe that her partner still loves her, she will demand that he express and show it to her often. When she gets dressed up or gets a new haircut, she will pay a lot of attention to whether she receives compliments or not. So if your insecure wife just spent three hours at the salon and keeps lingering around you hoping you’ll notice and say something, don’t be surprised.
In extreme cases, other people’s opinions will define how she feels about herself. She will also use those compliments as a yardstick to measure her degree of worth. If you’re looking for signs of an insecure woman on social media, notice how much she lets any negative comments affect her. If her day is completely ruined by an offhand comment, it might be because she’s very insecure.
5. Being critical of other women
To subconsciously uplift herself, an insecure woman will negatively attack other women and perhaps even men. As unfair as it is to do that, note that insecure women don’t do this because they’re mean or rude. They only do it so they can feel better about themselves. Such effects of insecurity can make her personality very unpleasant. She will be quick to identify and point out the things that other people lack.
This attempt at improving her own image in her own eyes is not helpful at all. By bringing others down, she will never be able to climb the ladder herself. Being unable to compliment or be happy for others will fundamentally make her bitter towards people.
6. Unable to accept her partner’s successes
One of the signs of insecurity in a woman that you will probably not miss is that she can never be genuinely happy or proud of her partner. A partner who loves you should always be happy for you and express pride in your achievements. However, an insecure partner drains a relationship through this constant need to compare.
Rather than being a pillar of support, she will let her anxiety crumble and spill all over the place. Instead of focusing on her lover’s good work, an insecure woman will only focus on the things that she lacks.
She might even turn their successes into an excuse to gain sympathy for herself.
7. Sensitivity to body image triggers
When you are dating an insecure woman, do be careful about how you comment on her body. She is extremely sensitive to these opinions. A woman who is insecure about her looks will negatively view her appearance, weight, and the way she carries herself. A tiny comment, remark, or indirect expression on her body might plummet her sense of self-worth and make her feel conscious about her body. She will constantly worry about how she looks and, more importantly, how people are viewing her. She will need repetitive reminders to feel good enough.
8. Insecure women try to please everyone around them
One of the most important things to evaluate in this list of female insecurities is how these women respond to people around them. Even though they might dislike a person, they will go the extra mile to show that they are interested to gain their social sanction. These women feel better about themselves by being in the good books of others.
They are always concerned with pleasing and aligning their personality with that of other people. They situationally morph their words and actions to charm everyone around them. “This need for validation stems from their childhood. Even constantly asking her mother what she should wear can be a sign of insecurity later on in her life. There is no end to it. It gets worse as she grows up,” says Kavita.
9. Aggressively shielding themselves
Insecure women always want to have the upper hand in an argument, and will not let things go unless they feel like they have won. They always feel the need to be correct in a situation. They are bad at accepting criticism and will go to any length to defend their point of view. Arguing with an insecure partner drains relationships because they are absolutely terrible listeners.
They only worry about defending themselves and being considered right in their actions. They stop being receptive to the opposing rationale and will fight out their cause without correctly evaluating its own merit. Their anger not only affects others but themselves too.
10. Attention-seeking activities
One of the troubling effects of insecurity can be the repetitive indulgence in attention-seeking activities. These women try to catch attention by wearing eye-catching outfits, behaving promiscuously, or being abnormally loud. When dating an insecure woman, you will certainly notice these in your interactions with her.
“They might even overdo the mollycoddling and pampering of others, but their actions may not really be about affection. Pampering is not affection. It can become a habit unless they go for therapy,’’ Kavita points out. While it is okay to an extent and can be a facet of one’s own personality, it is important to identify when it is stemming from one’s insecurity.
In many cases, it is a mere facade used to effectively hide the underlying self-doubt.
11. Comparing herself to her partner’s exes
A woman insecure in a relationship might desperately want to outperform her partner’s ex. She will always want to prove herself better than her partner’s previous romances. Any topics about the ex will arouse negative feelings in her. Not only will she try to outperform them, but also seek more praise, approval, and validation in comparison to them.
For example, you casually mention how you’ve always wanted to go rock climbing and how your ex was exceptionally good at it and tried to teach you but you never learned. Insecure women can truly pick a bone with such a harmless thought like this one. She may act annoyed that you mentioned your ex and might say something like, “Was she really that good? She doesn’t look like she has a single athletic bone in her body. I, on the other hand, have been rock-climbing with my dad since I was in middle school.”
12. Playing the victim card always
Insecure women find it very difficult to accept their mistakes or lapses in judgment. During arguments, she will tend to arouse guilt in others by making herself seem weaker, more feeble, and helpless. This façade is counterproductive to the conflicts and concerns at hand. She might play the victim card often and turn every situation into one where she is oppressed or is being emotionally tormented by other people.
Related Reading: 12 Warning Signs Of Gaslighting And 5 Ways To Deal With It
5 Ways To Avoid Being Insecure
Insecurity is not exclusive to women, nor is it always all-pervasive. It can come and go in bouts at various points in your life. A heated quarrel, an uneasy encounter, a past problem — any of these things can send a person into a downward spiral of feeling insecure about themselves.
To avoid projecting our internal problems onto our relationships, here are a few key ways to avoid being insecure, if you think you might be an insecure girl:
1. Be around the people you love
The people you love and the people who love you will never bring you down or shoot at your morale. Even when they criticize you, they do it out of plain concern and worry, and they also use the right words and tone. If you identify with any of the signs of insecure women, spending more time with the people who really know you can help you re-invigorate the qualities in yourself that you thought you had lost.
2. Keep yourself busy
When you are focussing all your energies on being productive, you feel more confident in yourself as a person. The more time you spend overthinking, worrying, and judging yourself, the more time you waste feeling sorry for yourself. To really stop being an insecure girl, do everything you can to uplift yourself!
Finding work, a hobby or an activity to channel your time and energy into can be a great way to neutralize the effects of insecurity.
3. Insecure women should treat themselves
Set milestones that you want to achieve — whether emotional, physical or career-oriented. When you pass those hurdles, revel in the sense of self-love and treat yourself to something you enjoy.
From a rom-com to a hearty meal to a new dress — anything works! By rewarding yourself, you will accept and acknowledge your own achievements and gradually stop requiring other people to do it for you. You can be enough for yourself. Keep reminding yourself to break free from the classic patterns that insecure women display.
Related Reading: Can Healthy Jealousy Help You Build Stronger Relationships?
4. Confront your personal issues
Successful and happy people accept their flaws wholeheartedly. They embrace the fact that while perfection is something to aspire to, it cannot be achieved in its entirety. Being flawless should not be the goal. Being comfortable with your flaws should be. Your issues might run very deep, and confronting them head-on can help you take control of your life more wholesomely.
Identify your mistakes and your problems and use them to make sense of your actions. Practice mindfulness and journaling. “Social anxiety around other people that can lead to insecurity, is always about the past or the future. The threat is not in your present. Acceptance with committed action is extremely important,” says Kavita.
5. Get the help you need
If repeated efforts over a long period of time are still not proving helpful to you, you may want to consider getting professional help. It is okay to not be able to conquer this journey by yourself.
Expert help can allow you to understand your negative actions and reactions that you might not be aware of otherwise.
“Sometimes too much negative reinforcement can stay with a person for life and people should be open to therapy to come out of it,” Kavita reiterates. If you need the right guidance to shake off insecure tendencies, our panel of consulting experts is only a click away.